Hello to all my favorite people! It's great to talk to you all! How is everyone?! I can't believe I have less than two weeks left here! I cannot wait to get out into the real world! The weeks here all blend together and I don't have much time today, but I've been saving all my good stories for next week (my final letter before I leave Utah and head to NY). So expect a longer letter next week!So good news! we ended up winning the basketball tournament! It was super intense and we almost got in a few fights.
To start off, today we (our district[The 6 Elders that room with me/study with me]) had a little problem. Our toilet flooded while we were gone today at the PROVO Temple and we got back and the whole floor turned into an ocean, and the toilet was leaking from the back. Right as we got home, all the Elders under us (we are on the second floor) came knocking on our door and asked us if our toilet was flooding because water was rushing out of their ceiling fan. We went down to their room and it was like someone installed a shower head in the ceiling fan. There was toilet water all over the walls, the doors, and pretty much everywhere in the bathroom. They aren't very happy with us. Haha. Every night we always wrestle and then all stomp on the floor so they really don't like us. It's okay though. Me and my companion asked the front desk to have some extra towels to clean up the mess, but instead they are currently sending over the staff to check it out, which is not good because if your toilet floods on the ground, your whole apartment has to be evacuated and moved. That even makes it worse for the District down stairs because they had bed bugs, so they already evacuated and had to move to a different apartment. Then they couldn't "prove" they had bed bugs, so they moved back in, and now they are probably going to have to move out again. Ahh life here at the MTC can get crazy sometimes! Haha.
Every Tuesday and Sunday we have devotionals in the main campus where all the missionaries in the entire place get together (about 2,500) of them and we get to hear from somebody special. Mother, you are going to die when you hear this, but this Tuesday, we got to hear from Jenny Oaks Baker! For those who don't know who she is, she is a world class violin player who graduated from Harvard with a Masters in Violin Performance. All of her kids are extremely good at music and they are very young (they all played with her as well). She spoke to us, and performed around five songs. I know that music invites the Spirit like nothing else. It brought tears to my eyes. When we feel the Holy Spirit, it's God's way of letting us feel what is true and good. I guess then the question becomes, how do we know what are our own thoughts/feelings and what are coming from God himself? This scripture has helped me understand this. Moroni 7:16. It says " For Behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." This scripture has helped me understand how to find what is true in my life. We can talk about this all day, but I don't have much time. Ponder what this means in your own life. When she played the violin, it sounded like it was a living person crying out to God. She played it so well that it seemed like it was alive. She is the best violinist I have heard live (besides you of course mom :) ). And mom, out of those 2,500 missionaries, only two people got to meet her and get pictures with her and I was lucky enough to be one of them. :) See attached for pictures. I know your jealous mom. Haha.
I ended up writing a song this week on a piano here. It's pretty cool how easy it becomes to write when your mind is completely clear from any distraction. It allows you to focus in a deeper way than I ever have been able too. The Spanish is coming along pretty good. We teach three lessons a day now here all in Spanish, but that doesn't mean at all that I am near fluent, because I am not. I can understand just about everything now, but talking is a totally different story. It's coming along well though!
We have a white hand book which is our rule book as missionaries, and this week, I felt inspired to draw a large heart in the front of the book, because I realized that LOVE is the greatest thing anyone can do to help others. That's my number one rule, is to love everybody! The great thing about when we love and give to others is that it is contagious. When we give and show love to others, that makes them want to give it back. When we take from others, that makes them want to take from you as well. When we love and give, it is a win win for everyone.
I have learned being a missionary isn't about teaching people material. Think about this. I am a Christian. Christ had certain characteristics (Charity, Hope, Knowledge, Faith, Obedience,) etc...and he had them perfectly. It is all about Charity (the pure love of Christ to where you start to see people for their potential, and love the good that's in them). Being a missionary is not about how much you know doctrinally, intellectually, or even how well you know the language. We are official representatives of Christ, and it's all about what you do and how you truly love the people. A mission changes your heart. It takes it and it teaches your heart how to love people the way Christ did, and does all of us! Then those people want to live their life the same way and spread that eternal joy. It's infectious. So, with that, I would like to share with all of you a video. Notice that this video has NO words, yet recognize how powerful it is. Notice that both the people in this video were suffering and were both struggling to just live. Although both were struggling, the husband was struggling a little less, and notice he turned outward when he was struggling within (just like Christ), and loved his wife with all he had and ignored his own infliction. Today, let's love somebody like this. This is the kind of people I want in my life. I want my future wife to be like this, but more importantly, I hope I can become just a fraction of what this wise and loving man has become.
VIDEO (ENDURING LOVE)
I love you all so very much. Have a great week, and do something to change someone's life!! :))
- Elder Austin Celaya